AMERICA/UNITED STATES – It is not a crime to seek asylum: the caravan of migrants arrives at the border

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Austin – “It is not a crime to seek asylum: we urge the Administration to look for other solutions that reinforce the integrity of the immigration system existing in the United States”. This is what Mgr. Joe Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, President of the Commission for Migrations in the United States Episcopal Conference, Sr. Donna Markham, OP, President of the “Catholic Charities USA” , Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the “Catholic Legal Immigration Network” and Sean Callahan, President of “Catholic Relief Services” say in a joint statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
On November 9, President Trump issued a provision prohibiting people arriving at the southern border with Mexico from receiving asylum in the United States. This represents a direct contradiction with the existing asylum law, underlines the text sent to Fides.
In the statement shared by Catholic bodies we read: “While we recognize the right of every nation to regulate its borders, we find this action deeply disturbing. It will limit and delay access regarding the protection for hundreds of children and families fleeing the violence in Central America, which could leave them in conditions of insecurity in Mexico or in situations of indefinite detention on the border between the United States and Mexico. We reiterate that it is not a crime to seek asylum and that this right to seek refuge is codified in our laws and values. We urge the Administration to look for other solutions that reinforce the integrity of the existing immigration system, while ensuring access to the protection for vulnerable children and families. The Catholic Church will continue to serve, accompany and assist all those fleeing persecution, regardless of where they seek that protection and where they come from”.
In the meantime 400 Hondurans arrived at the border and others will arrive, perhaps more than 3 thousand. The tension is registered on both sides of the border because the group of migrants wants to enter US territory with legal permission. The applicants must therefore wait to be received by the migration office, present at the same border, with undeclared times and, in the meantime, the place where to stop for the wait cannot manage the flow of the people that have arrived. “Tijuana is not ready to receive a caravan of that size”, said the mayor of the border town to the press, saying that the city is now saturated and today, Friday 16 November, another 2 thousand migrants are expected to arrive, with social difficulties and need for assistance.